Super Recaps: Lovecraft Country – Episode 9 (Rewind 1921)

Lovecraft Country is owned by HBO

Directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff

We’re back with more Lovecraft Country intrigue, and it has certainly been an interesting journey hasn’t it?  We’ve had great episodes, bad episodes, and all the tones that you can possibly imagine somehow crammed into this very strange tale of magic and horror wrapped in the not so strange but still horrifying exploration of racial issues in this country!  With only two episodes to go are we heading towards a climactic conclusion that will make it worth whatever stumbling we went through getting to this point, or should we expect more of the same issues that have plagued this series for some time now?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Diana (Jada Harris) in a near comatose state as all the adults in her life (at least the ones that are still around) start yelling at each other about how this could have happened in the first place.  Frankly I’m not sure what they’re fighting about as ALL of them are terrible guardians with Hippolyta (Aunjanue Ellis) having disappeared, but the more interesting revelation here is that the Evil Twins from the last episode didn’t want to kill Diana with their razor sharp nails; they just wanted to… poison her with a magic disease or something?  In any case, Ruby (Wunmi Mosaku), being the only one with any idea of what to do, calls Christina (Abbey Lee) to try and make heads or tails of this, and while she DOES have some good news, it’s mostly bad.  She can reset curse essentially; giving Diana more time before it overtakes her, but to remove the spell completely will require The Book of Names, and we learned that it was burned during the Tulsa massacre of 1921, so there’s not much hope.  Still, Christina agrees to do the reset on the condition that Atticus (Jonathan Majors) joins her in Ardham on the night of the Autumnal Equinox.  They’ve mentioned this whole Equinox things a few time and I still don’t have a clear explanation on what it is, why it’s so important, and why Christina wants to do some sort of immortality spell on that night (especially since her dad EXPLODED when he tried it back in episode 2), but Atticus agrees so I guess that’s what the tenth and final episode will all be about.  They all start putting up transmutation circles all over the place while Christina goes to run an “errand of some sort” which his actually just her transforming into William (Jordan Patrick Smith) and gloating about Captain Lancaster’s untimely demise in front of him.  No, William doesn’t go to a grave, apparently the cops are trying to Frankenstein their way out of this little fiasco, but they aren’t having any luck and Christina gets a front row view of this jerk bag breathing his last breath.  Couldn’t happen to a nice guy in my opinion, but he may end up getting the last laugh if they aren’t able to stop his curse from killing Diana.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-14-2020)

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT

Did you know the PPV is less than a month away!?  Doesn’t it feel like we JUST got done with a PPV a month ago?  Oh who even knows anymore; it’s not like time MEANS anything at this point.  We’re all just barreling through this ridiculous world at ten billion miles per hour, and hey if nothing else, since it’s happening the Saturday after the election (PLEASE GO VOTE!!) it’ll be either a nice treat for a world that just saved itself from the brink of destruction or it’ll be the last spot of joy before this country inevitably crumbles into a fascist dictatorship.  In any case, I hope that Will Hobbs gets a title shot on that show!  Before we look towards the future however, let’s keep our eyes squarely on the present and take a look at this show right now.  Will this episode start building up to the PPV in fun and exciting ways, or do they need a bit more time to get everything into place?  Let’s find out!!

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FTR Vs. Best Friends – AEW Tag Team Title Match

FTR is accompanied to the ring by Tully Blanchard

Look, we know that both teams are good and that they can have great matches, so I don’t want to sound negative about this on the outset.  It’s not a bad match, but BOY is it a non-descript one for what’s supposed to be a title defense!  Trent is in command for a good chunk of this match before FTR get the upper hand and start generating heat for what feels like an hour before Trent eventually gets the hot tag on Chuck who goes wild for a bit.  Things at least get a bit interesting there when Tully interferes and Chuck retaliates by chocking him with his own jacket, and there was a pretty impressive nearfall where Best Friends land a Soul Food on Cash to get a two count, but there’s just not a whole lot going on here.  Aside from the nearfalls, the only move that really stuck out for me was when Cash dropped Trent’s leg onto the ring ropes which was an interesting visual, but Trent doesn’t sell the leg at any point in the match (he even uses the knees to counter a Vader Bomb), so what was the point of specifically targeting it?  Speaking of nearfalls, FTR manages to regain the advantage and are getting the heat on Trent with a series of suplexes, but Trent won’t stay down for the three-count and tries to fight his way out of this rough spot.  They eventually brawl to the outside where Kip Sabian is playing away on an arcade cabinet, and Cash throws Trent right through it; destroying it utterly and leaving Kip with nothing but a fight stick to entertain him.  The match eventually returns to the ring and Trent manages to get the tag to Chuck, but it’s ultimately futile as Cash manages to smash Chuck in the face with the title belt while the ref was distracted which is enough for Dax to get the pin and retain their titles.  Like I said, there wasn’t a whole lot going on with this match and the stuff at the end, while entertaining, wasn’t exactly the most THRILLING directions for a match to take and I’d honestly take the match they had last week with TH2 than this one.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-14-2020)”

Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #32

Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

Welcome back to even more Sonic goodness as we continue to get further and further away from the Zombot arc!  The last issue had some great character moments and gave us a fascinating new setup with Sonic out of the picture and I REALLY want this series to explore that idea a little bit more and maybe give Sonic a bit of dimension as he realizes his heroism is a lot more reluctant than he thought now that he has time away from it!  However, if the cover is anything to go by, it doesn’t look like this team of talented professionals will be taking the advice of one annoying critic on the internet and Sonic will be returning a lot sooner than I was hoping.  Still, do they manage to make his return to Mobius (I’m gonna keep calling it that AND YOU CAN’T STOP ME!) interesting and compelling in its own right or are we simply sprinting as fast as we can back to the status quo?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with Eggman crashing the party; piloting a giant robot with Omega strapped to the front of it like Mad Max in Fury Road.  I suppose it makes the robot stronger, but I thought the whole deal with Omega is that he WASN’T a particularly unique creation of the doctor and was just another drone who someone found a conscious.  Okay, MAYBE not so much a conscious as a RAGING HATE ON for Eggman, but six of one half a dozen of the other, and the bigger point is that I figured he could just MAKE a better giant robot than trying to attach a smaller robot for the additional RAM.  This is all needlessly nitpicky though and to the issue’s credit, it DOES do what I wanted this issue to do… sort of.  We’ll get back to the SORT OF part of this, but a good chunk of this issue are about the heroes trying stop Eggman’s giant robot without the help of Sonic the Hedgehog.  Oddly enough, the one who steps up to the plate is Vector, and I’ve got to ask again; ARE SEGA PLANNING ON DOING SOMETHING WITH THIS GUY!?  Maybe it’s just me, but for the last year or so Vector has been getting a higher profile in the Sonic universe; and not just in the comics!  That recent Team Sonic Racing game had him as the leader of one of the teams and he was certainly present in that Sonic Forces game, but then again it’s been going on for a while now and nothing BIG has happened yet.  If we’re building up to something with this character like his own game or something, I think they need to just get it over with instead of keeping us guessing for the next three years.

“EVERYONE!  MOVE OUT!!”     “You’ve got it, boss!”     “Whoa, whoa, whoa!  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.  I’m just exploring my options and haven’t committed to anything yet.”
Continue reading “Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #32”

Super Recaps: Lovecraft Country – Episode 8 (Jig-a-Bobo)

Lovecraft Country is owned by HBO

Directed by Misha Green

We’re back with another episode of everyone’s favorite Monster Mash just in time for the Halloween season?  Yes, I’m a bit late at putting this up as I’ve fallen behind on… well basically everything the last few weeks, but it was hopefully worth the wait as I have quite a bit to say about this particular episode!  Is it an improvement over the last few episodes that didn’t quite capture the tone that this series works best at, or will this show continue to go all over the place until the very last minute and tries to cram everything into a satisfying conclusion for the final episode?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins on a very somber note as everyone in this Chicago community are marching to the funeral of a young man named Bobo was a character who showed up, albeit briefly, in previous episodes as a friend of Diana (Jada Harris), and as it turns out he is in fact supposed to be the real life Emmett Till; a fourteen year old boy in 1955 who was shot and then strung up around the neck with barb wire which was then tied to a cotton gin fan before being thrown in the river; shooting him, cutting him, choking him, and drowning him on the flimsiest excuse of him supposedly flirting with a white woman who later in life recanted the story which his killers presumably knew to be false at the time.  I’m dubious about putting an actual historical figure and victim such as him in a big budgeted HBO fantasy series to make a point, but aside from that it’s a sobering introduction that definitely reflections the tension and shared trauma of the current state of police and white supremacist violence in this country; violence that was always there but has gotten much more of a spotlight in recent years.  Diana is certainly having a hard time of recently, especially with the recent death of her father George Freeman (Courtney B Vance) and the disappearance of her mother Hippolyta (Aunjanue Ellis), and it’s just too much for her to take with grace and restraint, so she runs off and starts yelling at other kids who aren’t in mourning over the loss of a child to such senseless violence.  As cathartic as this is for her, the good feeling ends up being quite fleeting as a cop car immediately pulls up behind her and she may end up being the next kid to have a funeral.  It’s not just any cop however as it’s Captain Lancaster (Mac Brandt) who is the leader of The Sons of Adam in this area and he has a copy of the comic book that was found at the Time Machine at the end of the last episode with her name written on it.  They interrogate her to try and figure out where her mother went, but when they don’t get the answers they want the captain puts a curse of some sort on her which involves spitting on her head and putting her in a chokehold.  The show is back to what it does best which is infusing tropes of horror and other genres with the real life terrors that people of color have to experience, and I’m glad that things are finally starting to get back on track after the last few episodes felt like they losing focus.

Continue reading “Super Recaps: Lovecraft Country – Episode 8 (Jig-a-Bobo)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-07-2020)

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT

We’re back with more explosive wrestling action, but this week isn’t just ANY episode of Dynamite!  For a month now they’ve been advertising this show as the CHRIS JERICHO THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION to commemorate his three decades of butt kicking and smack talking in this business!  Does this mean the bubbly will flow thru sprinklers?  Will there be a song and dance number or an impromptu Fozzy concert!?  We’ll we’re not going to find out by speculating about it, so let’s get started!!

The episode begins with a sincere out of kayfabe segment where the wrestlers of AEW explain just how important Chris Jericho was to them and to making this company what it is today.  Of course they can’t show ninety percent of his career because despite wrestling outside of WWE quite a bit that footage STILL ended up in WWE’s hands, but it was still a nice little moment for the promotion!  Jericho doesn’t come out to start the show however.  Instead we get an unrelated but still pretty darn awesome match!

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Brian Cage Vs. Will Hobbs – FTR Title Match

Taz and Ricky Starks are on commentary

Will Hobbs has been the talk of AEW for weeks now and our appetite for some WILL POWER has only grown more desperate as his big match was canceled due to Lance Archer getting sick.  Fortunately Brian Cage is on hand to have a hell of a Big Man fight with this rising talent, and unsurprisingly the end result is a fantastic opening fight!  Will definitely comes out of this looking strong as Cage doesn’t squash him right away (pour one out for Pineapple Pete), and both are VERY athletic while projecting so much power in everything they do.  It’s almost like watching a Kaiju film on fast forward as all of their moves feel big and heavy, but they can still pull off an impressive amount of speed and dexterity when the need arises.  It’s not too complicated of a match as far as the moves.  Chops, body checks, suplexes, it’s all very standard and very well executed, but moments like when Cage does a Standing Moonsault or when Hobbs does a Jumping Shoulder Tackle punctuate the action and keeps it exciting all the way through.  The only part where things felt a bit off was a moment where Hobbs and Cage seem to forget what they were supposed to do as they just stare at each other before Brian Cage jumps up and takes a Powerbomb from Hobbs.  Other than that I found this match to be close to perfect in terms of what it’s trying to accomplish with the wrestlers they have to work with.  Cage does something that I THINK was an F5 and only gets a two count, they start trading German Suplexes before giving each other simultaneous clotheslines that knock them flat on their backs, and as soon as they get up from all that they just start trading blows to try and annihilate the other; piece by piece.  Hobbs’s fatal mistake in this match however comes after he lands his finisher, The Last Will and Testament, but only gets a two count.  Instead of pressing the advantage that he has, he goes for something risky to try to put the match away quickly, namely a Frog Splash from the top rope, but Cage rolls out of the way with easy and with Hobbs on the ground he picks him up to land a Drill Claw for the win.  Hobbs may be an exciting talent for the company, but his inexperience showed in that moment and Cage made him pay dearly for it!  It was a very simple story with very straightforward action, but the two men did a PHENOMENAL job here and I loved every minute of it!  It’s not just a revelation for Will Hobbs who looked amazing; Cage as well managed to look like more than just a big scary guy which is where he’s kind of been stuck at ever since his debut; a little bit above Wardlow, but not quite as compelling as Lance Archer.  A great match that did a lot for both men; and really what more could you ask for?

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-07-2020)”

Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #31

Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

We’re back with even more Sonic goodness, and sadly I have not lived up to the principals of my one true idol.  I have not in fact been “Going Fast” recently as I’m a good month behind on this book, though it is somewhat fitting that I’m taking a somewhat lackadaisical pace at reviewing these issues since the book itself is in something of a lull after completing the Zombot arc.  Yeah, let’s pretend I meant to do it like this.  ANYWAY!  With Sonic in another dimension and peace having been restored to his home, what will our heroes do now that they have some well-earned vacation days on their hands?  Let’s find out!!

Much like the last issue, this is mostly about reestablishing the status quo now that we’ve finally come to the end of the story arc, but where the last issue was a bit overstuffed with new conflicts this one manages to find the right balance between story progression and character building; starting off of course with Sonic who has found himself in the Sol Empire.  It seems that the cool blue dude lost his memory after crashing into the ground at what should have been terminal velocity, and so Blaze has to sit here trying to get him to explain not just who he is but how IMPORTANT he is and why he needs to get his memory back sooner rather than later.  What’s fascinating about this is that despite being told he’s essentially the woodland critter chosen one, he seems cagey and aloof in a way that clearly indicates how little he wants anything to do with whatever it is he’s expected to do now.  It definitely goes with the character as he’s been established as the first few issues of this series were about him trying to avoid responsibility and being free to go wherever he wanted before the return of Eggman eventually made that impossible, and I’m curious just how far this amnesiac version of him will go to refuse a call to action.

“Seriously; Sonic the HEDGEHOG?  What about me looks the LEAST bit like a hedgehog?”
Continue reading “Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #31”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-30-2020)

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT

So last episode had some wonky moments and a rather ho-hum finish, but they were also dealing with an unexpected change in plans due to Lance Archer contracting COVID-19, so a bit of sloppiness to try and fill in the cracks is understandable, and while Archer isn’t back YET, they did at least have more time to prepare which hopefully means a more cohesive night of wrestling action!  Is AEW back on track after the unexpected fumble from last week?  Let’s find out!!

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Before we get to the opening match, we get a video promo for Darby Allin that stars a guy named JPEG MAFIA.  I don’t know who this guy is, but he pushes Darby down a giant slide while calling Ricky Starks a punk, so fair enough I suppose.  Wait, is that the opening match!?

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Ricky Starks Vs. Darby Allin

So what, we’re not gonna hold this one off until the PPV?  Heck, we’re not even going to wait for Archer to come back so they can fight it out in the Six Man Tag match?  Well I guess it DOES take two weeks to recover from the virus so they had to do something here to keep the feud hot, and for what it’s worth it’s a pretty excellent match!  There’s a lot of athleticism and a really nice spot where Darby manages to kick Starks into the air, and Starks as always has a PHENOMENAL spear that’s always exciting to see!  Then out of nowhere, Brian Cage comes out from the back! While we knew for sure that Archer had COVID-19, Cage merely said he “felt sick” so I guess he passed the tests and was able to come back here, but before he can properly hit the ring and put Darby in traction, WILL HOBBS runs out and they punch each other all the way to the back!  YES!  MORE WILL HOBBS PLEASE!  Well sadly that’s all the Hobbs we get for the moment as Starks and Allin are back in the ring and beating the crap out of one another.  The only spot that felt a LITTLE bit sloppy is when Starks puts Allin in a one leg Boston Crab, but before he can even GRAB the ropes, Starks release the hold.  A bit of bad timing there, but it’s a BIG EXPLOSIVE match between two fast guys, so it’s not a big deal.  The BETTER submission spot was a bit after that where Allin has Starks on the ground in a Fujiwara Armbar, and while Starks is reaching for the ropes with his other arm, Darby grabs it and ALSO puts it in a submission.  Ricky, pretty much having to crawl with his CHIN just barely makes it underneath the ropes; just far enough for his constricted hand to still grab the ropes.  It returns to a slug fest after that as both are standing on wobbly legs and smacking each other with Darby getting the advantage.  Darby manages to land a stunner and goes for a Springboard attack, but before we can figure out what he’s going to do now that he’s in the air, Starks SPEARS HIM OUT OF THE SKY; like an ICBM hitting a rocket ship!!  THAT was amazing and I probably would have ended the match there, but Darby somehow manages to kick out.  Stark puts Allin on the turnbuckle and tries to land an Avalanche Roshambo which to me seems like a REALLY bad move to try and land on a guy from the top rope, but thankfully Darby manages to wriggle out of it and knocks Starks off the top rope.  With Starks having nothing left in the tank, Darby Allin lands the Coffin Drop and gets the three count to win the match.  It felt perhaps a bit wasted for them to have this blow off match here instead of at a bigger event, but that was a GREAT opening fight, and unlike the Matt Hardy/Sammy Guevara match, NO ONE HAS ALMOST DIED YET FOR THIS FEUD!  Okay, Darby Allin almost got a broken neck, Ricky Starks got his back shredded, and Darby got thrown around in a body bag, but still!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-30-2020)”

Super Recaps: Lovecraft Country – Episode 7 (I Am.)

Lovecraft Country is owned by HBO

Directed by Charlotte Sieling

We’re back with everyone’s favorite extremely ambitious SyFy original series!  With the last episode leaving me with a sour taste in my mouth regarding our main character Atticus, it’s perhaps time that we get back to his storyline instead of going off on these tangents with other characters; if for no other reason than for the main plot of this story to not consistently get overshadowed by everything else that’s going on around it.  Does this find a way to bring the whole Book of Names nonsense to the forefront in a fun and interesting way, or are we in store for more distractions?  Let’s find out!!

Okay, so not looking to spoil things TOO much right off the bat, but this is a lot like Episode 5 (the one that was mostly about Ruby in a racially reimagined take on the Jekyll & Hyde story) in that this is another episode where one character’s story takes center stage while everything else is pushed to the margins.  To that end, we’ll just speed by all the stuff that happens in the first part of the story which is once again where Atticus and the whole Sons of Adam thing get a brief spotlight, and then focus on the ONE BIG thing that happened during the rest of it.

Ruby and Christina (Wunmi Mosaku and Abbey Lee) are in the mysterious basement where we find the corpses of William and Ruby’s White Lady (Jordan Patrick and Jamie Neumann); seemingly dead though being held here to harvest blood for the transformation potion.  Ruby is certainly upset about all this, particularly the lies of omission that Christina/William have been tactfully avoiding, but she’s not quite mad enough to leave the situation entirely.  After all, she’s got a pretty good deal going on here with all this magical nonsense, but she wants Christina to be straight with her about what’s going on.  It’s not clear because the scene cuts as soon as she mentions it, but Christina seems to inform Ruby about what’s going on with Atticus and Leti (Jonathan Majors and Jurnee Smollett) with the whole Book of Names thing, so I guess we’ll be seeing that confrontation at some point in the future.  I genuinely do hope that Ruby doesn’t leave all this magic stuff behind because despite a few moments in that episode that made me cringe (the stiletto heel comes to mind), I really do like her as a character and am curious to see how far she goes and if she may even become an antagonist to Atticus and Leti in her pursuit of power.

Continue reading “Super Recaps: Lovecraft Country – Episode 7 (I Am.)”